Everyone should read the Freedom Charter at least once; just to get some insight into how far the ANC has strayed from its core principles.
I intent to write a few articles on the Freedom Charter – for no particular reason other than that the ANC is known to quote from this document as if from the Bible. This being their 100th anniversary – we can expect to hear the comrades quoting its contents fairly often this year.
The ANC hold the Freedom Charter in higher regard than the Constitution of South Africa – often confusing the two. Personally, I find the contents of the Charter very much like that of “Beasts of England” – from the story “Animal Farm” by George Orwell; with Orwell’s version being quite a bit more plausible. I particularly like the following, from Beasts of England:
“Riches more than mind can picture,
Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels,
Shall be ours upon that day.”
The Freedom Charter promises:
“The national wealth of our country,
The heritage of South Africa,
Shall be restored to the people,
The mineral wealth beneath the soil,
The Banks and monopoly shall be transferred,
To the ownership of the people as a whole.”
I prefer clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels (something like the African potato) to the mineral wealth beneath the soil – no illegal strikes by mineworkers such as those at Rustenburg. But that’s just me.
The Freedom Charter is characterised by its opening demand: “The People Shall Govern.” And it is right here, where it falls flat. For two reasons: The people are incapable of governing; and those in government are too corrupt and incompetent to govern. Finish and klaar.
Let’s look at one set of demands from the Charter (my notes in brackets):
There Shall be Houses, Security and Comfort!
All people shall have the right to live where they choose, be decently housed, and bring up their families in comfort and security. (By all means: come erect your squatter’s shack in my neighbourhood; I’ll pay rates and taxes, but you won’t have to; I’ll patrol the neighbourhood with the Community Patrol Association (CPA), while you sleep in safety.)
Unused housing space to be made available to the people. (Like the hundreds of residents who moved into Schubart Park in Pretoria; and were then evicted “for their own safety.”)
Rent and prices shall be lowered; food plentiful and no-one shall go hungry. (Need I elaborate on this nonsensical statement? Kill the farmers, disown the farms, and food shall be plentiful?)
A preventive health scheme shall be run by the state. (Like the 1.35 million defective condoms the ANC handed out at their party celebrations. AIDS activist Sello Mokhalipi, of the Treatment Action Campaign, said he complained after "we had people flocking in, coming to report that the condoms had burst while they were having sex.”)
Free medical care and hospitalisation shall be provided for all, with special care for mothers and children. (Free medical care? With babies dying because of poor hygiene in hospitals? With babies dying because health workers are on strike? With premature babies dying because of broken incubators?) Today’s News24: Limpopo hospitals are teetering on the brink of disaster as they bear the brunt of the provincial health department’s financial collapse.
Slums shall be demolished, and new suburbs built where all have transport, roads, lighting, playing fields, crèches and social centres. (New suburbs will be built by people who cannot even build toilets WITH walls! Roads WITHOUT potholes! Lighting WITH stolen cables and blackouts! Social centres called SHEBEENS!)
The aged, the orphans, the disabled and the sick shall be cared for by the state. (Then why are there so many frail, sick, blind, and disabled beggars on the streets; some of them young children?)
Rest, leisure and recreation shall be the right of all. (It has been decided that this rule shall apply only to the so-called “leaders” of the ANC for who rest, leisure, recreation, and corruption have become a way of life.)
Fenced locations and ghettoes shall be abolished, and laws which break up families shall be repealed. (Yes, ghettoes shall be called “human settlements,” all fences shall be taken down and sold as scrap metal – along with electrical cables, water taps, gate motors, manhole covers, etc. Criminals shall not be sent to prison as this will break up their families. Instead they will be diagnosed with Shaikitis, and sent home.)
Finally: “There Shall be Houses, Security and Comfort!”
Now ask yourself: Who is going to pay for all of this? The millions of unemployed people? Yes, sure.